New Insights | New Paradigms | New Partnerships

The Lauder Institute’s Africa Symposium is a new setting for in-depth conversations among a diverse gathering of business leaders, practitioners, policy makers, and academics who are at the forefront of a dynamically changing continent. The event will feature speakers who will share insights, tools, and assessments of key drivers behind the continent’s vibrant entrepreneurship, innovative financing, and integrated economic and social development.

In collaboration with The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and Baobab Consulting, this year we will focus our lens on understanding the world of work in a rapidly changing Africa. What new industries and technologies are creating opportunities for what will soon be the world’s largest workforce? How can we train and equip this workforce for the future? How can we understand the true potential for entrepreneurship as a solution for under and unemployment? And what kinds of investments will deliver growth and social opportunity? Finally, we will explore how COVID-19 has affected and will continue to affect the future of work.

The two-day event will feature a keynote address with the inaugural African Union Youth Envoy, Aya Chebbi, six roundtable sessions on a variety of topics, and ample networking opportunities. Attendees will be able to to connect with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds – scholars, non-profit practitioners, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and policy makers.

Due to the generosity of our partners, tickets are complementary.

After signing up, make sure to also follow us on Twitter (@LauderAfrica) and Instagram (LauderAfrica) and join our LinkedIn Group.

Keynote Address

Ms. Aya Chebbi

African Union Special Envoy for Youth


Ms. Aya Chebbi, a multi award-winning Pan-African feminist. She rose to prominence as a voice for democracy and shot to global fame as a political blogger during 2010/2011 Tunisia’s Revolution. She served as the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Cabinet. Over the span of the past decade, she has single handedly transformed the youth participation space across Africa and created various online and offline platforms with a holistic focus on youth and women leadership. From running an award winning blog Proudly Tunisian and a popular Mentorship Programme Y-PHEM to building Afrika Youth Movement, one of Africa’s largest pan-African youth-led movements and Afresist, a multimedia platform documenting youth work in Africa.

She currently serves at the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the Council of the Africa Public Health Foundation and one of the Leaders for Generation Equality campaign. She is a graduate of University of Tunis El Manar with Bachelor in International Relations and Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholar for her Masters in African Politics at SOAS, University of London. She received 2019 Gates Foundation Campaign Award and was named in Forbes’ Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women and New African Magazine List of 100 Most Influential Africans.


The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT

The Legatum Center was founded on the belief that entrepreneurs and their market-driven solutions are critical to advancing economic and social progress in the developing world. While global prosperity has increased in recent decades, the progress is uneven, with the worst deprivations concentrated in specific parts of the globe. The Center drives more inclusive prosperity by building pathways for the next generation of change agents who, through principled entrepreneurial leadership, will create good jobs, transform systems, and improve lives.

We’re a global community that is based at MIT, drawing on the Institute’s talent, networks, presence, and expertise to inspire and equip those who want to move their ideas toward scalable impact. Our Principles of Operation build on the principles of the broader MIT entrepreneurship community. We build inclusive pathways within MIT and also between MIT and emerging market ecosystems. These not only support entrepreneurs on the ground, they also fuel research and thought leadership.

Baobab Consulting

Baobab Consulting is an Africa-focused social impact firm offering world-class services in strategic communications, strategic advisory and research, and intercultural programming. With a diverse team of experienced consultants based in seven countries across three continents, Baobab Consulting has built a reputation as expert cross-cultural communicators who utilize digital media, training and research to promote equitable international collaboration in business, politics, social advocacy and education. We offer world class communications, branding, PR, and cultural exchange services for world leaders, international organizations, businesses, and academic institutions, with a focus on amplifying the voices of those doing impactful work in Africa.

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute
256 South 37th street
2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330